Carnahan Coverage: U.S. Men’s National Team Finishes Preparation for World Cup in Jacksonville

If you’ve ever wondered what’s become of former Major League Baseball shortstop Rafael Furcal I’ve got some news to pass along to you.

I spent the past weekend in Jacksonville covering the U.S. Men’s National Team for Major League Soccer, where I wrote a number of stories over the course of Friday and Saturday. But I did other things while I was there as well, such as attending a Jacksonville Suns baseball game before walking across the street to EverBank Field for the soccer match.

Below are the links to all eight soccer stories about the USMNT from the weekend. The first story created quite a bit of buzz among soccer fans and media members alike, which makes interest in a Furcal comeback pale mightily in comparison. But while I was at the park…

I thought it’d be just another minor league baseball game, a chance to kill some time before the work was to begin. But then there was Furcal leading off the home half of the first inning, in a Double-A Southern League game for a Miami Marlins affiliate. Furcal finished a 13-year MLB career in 2012 after being named to three all-stars games, one each with the Atlanta Braves (2003), Los Angeles Dodgers (2010) and St. Louis Cardinals (2012). I’m not going to pretend it was a memorable performance, though, as Furcal went 0-for-3 with a walk Saturday against the Tennessee Smokies as the team’s second baseman. But it’ll be interesting to see if he can complete the comeback.

So about that soccer stuff, it was a cool idea for the Suns to plan a giveaway of USA soccer scarfs at the gate, but they likely wish they would’ve waited until the final roster was announced before deciding on the design. On one side of the scarf an image of Clint Dempsey flanks the words “USA ALL THE WAY” to the left while Landon Donovan is waving an American flag in front of him like a sheet with both hands to the right. It’s an honest mistake, really. And a reminder of the toughest World Cup loss for U.S. fans thus far leading into the tournament.

( – Click here to read USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann downplaying the system – )

( – Click here to read about how weather in Jacksonville helps with preparation – )

( – Click here to read about the continued preparation for the national team – )

( – Click here to read my match recap of the USMNT vs. Nigeria on Saturday – )

( – Click here to read about how Jozy Altidore got things turned around in win – )

( – Click here to read how the USMNT hopes training helps them peak at right time – )

( – Click here to read how the midfield fared in an altered formation vs. Nigeria – )

( – Click here to read about why Michael Bradley doesn’t make much of exhibitions – )

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